Products Info|Your oral health is linked to your mortality rate


Your oral health is linked to your mortality rate

Your oral health is linked to your mortality rate

Researchers report that observing various dental health conditions and behaviors can provide a clearer understanding

of long-term oral health status and mortality rates.

People who report poor dental health are just as likely to experience negative long-term systemic health outcomes as those previously diagnosed with periodontal

or gum disease, according to this new study.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

The researchers examined whether self-reported dental health problems commonly used in periodontal disease surveillance had the same or similar disease comorbidities

by analysing datasets from the Women’s Health Study and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Beginning in 1992, the Women’s Health Study followed women aged 45 years or older, providing information on self-reported gum disease, dental health problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes,

and osteoporosis, while NHANES included data on dental health problems and related mortality from 1999 to 2018.

Led by first author Huayu Qiu, associate professor of periodontology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine,

the researchers tested their hypotheses through analyses based on the estimated probability of outcomes based on a variety of factors,

and then looked at the survival rates of the different groups. The results showed that negative self-assessment was associated with the same degree of systemic comorbidity as those diagnosed with periodontal disease.

The study also found that suboptimal dental visits or infrequent flossing were associated with increased all-cause mortality.

Yu said, “In situations where clinical opportunities are limited, these questions really help to understand a person’s oral health.”

He noted that in a large epidemiological study such as the Women’s Health Study, it is not possible to have a dentist on site to

physically examine study participants.

Yu and other researchers, including senior author Julie Buring of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School,

also studied the role of access to dental care on overall health. They did this by asking two important questions,

“In the past 12 months, have you visited a dentist or hygienist?”

and “How often do you visit the dental office for routine check-ups and cleanings?”


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